Real Life Tips for Being a Morning Workout Person

Mornings are rough for all of us. But how do some manage to turn on their superhero powers and get out of their warm cozy bed to go workout? It’s all about being easy on your brain when it hasn’t even had a chance to wake up yet! Plan, prepare and leave your excuses on the pillow with these tips from the TITLE Boxing Club Marketing Team.

As a mom, Audrey knows the struggle of balancing your own routine with your family’s needs. Her practical ideas are invaluable:

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“Set two alarms – one by the bed and one that makes you actually get out of bed to turn it off on the other side of the room. Also, have everything ready to go like your gym bag, work clothes, kids clothes, lunches, water and snacks the night before. You can even pack some of your things in your car the night before so it’s less you need to grab in the morning.” – Audrey, Brand Manager

Brooke is a busy professional who is constantly on the go and traveling for work, so planning ahead is a priority. Here are some of her go-to methods.

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“Schedule your workouts ahead of time in your planner like you would any other appointment and make sure you keep it. Setting time aside for yourself and your health is key. Also, put your workout clothes by your bed the night before so you have one less thing to think about and create an excuse for in the morning.” – Brooke, Senior Director of Marketing

Planning a wedding on top of a demanding work schedule is a stressful reality for Jenna. Here are her tips for staying on track through busy times.

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“Plan your workouts with a friend or your significant other. You’d never bail on them for happy hour, so you won’t skip out on your workout plans either! Also, fall asleep (meaning no Instagram in bed) at least 8 hours before your alarm is set to go off. When it does, you’ll know lack of sleep isn’t an excuse for hitting snooze!” – Jenna, Digital Marketing Coordinator

5 (Funky) Fresh Ways to Spring Clean Your Workout Routine

The winter isn’t just rough on our skin and hair; our workout routines can suffer as well through the bitterly cold weather and short, dark days. It can make us seriously unambitious, prone to comfy clothes and Pinterest, and leaves us in a funk! The good news is the birds are chirping, the tulips are blooming and spring is right around the corner. So let’s talk about cleaning up our workout routines and getting back to our favorite healthy habits. (Yes—healthy habits can be your favorite!)

Plan Tonight for an Easy Tomorrow

Before you go to sleep, pick out your workout clothes and set them by your bed for an easy, no-excuses outfit that you can throw on when your alarm wakes you up early for that 5:00 a.m. Power Hour. It’s even smart to prep your water bottle, protein powder or snack with your gym bag the night before so you don’t forget anything when you have to get up and go.

Eat (a Big) Breakfast

Not a morning workout person? Begin your day early anyway and make a big, nutritious breakfast with protein that will kick-start your metabolism. Eating like a king or queen in the morning will give your body nourishment for the start of your jam-packed day, and help you stay energized until your evening workout.

Treat Yo-self

Warmer weather is as good an excuse as any to treat yourself to a new pair of workout pants, new Nikes or those TITLE boxing gloves you’ve been eyeing. New workout gear is one of the best ways to motivate yourself to get back into your routine and look great doing it!

Be a Tall Drink of Water

Don’t want to get up and turn off The Bachelor to do anything cardio related? Us, too. The lack of energy and willpower is real. But the solution is simple! Drink more water. (Think: probably a gallon more!) Not only does more water in your diet help your energy, but it also helps to beat the bloat. Hello, you tall drink of water, you! Plus, staying hydrated means you recover faster and you can get to your next TITLE class without any serious struggle. Take note: water down, power up!

Keep a Journal – For Real

“Has it really been two weeks since I’ve worked out?” We all know the feeling. Between work, family and relationships, we tend to forget that oh-so-important “me time.” Start keeping a journal or a list in your phone of all of your workouts. Accountability is key for progress!

It Takes Two: Partner workouts that rock

Everything is better when you do it together. When it comes to working out, having a partner means that you’re more likely to stick to it, stay into it, and achieve better results. So in honor of Valentine’s Week (yes, we’ve extended it to a whole week), grab your favorite gym partner and try one of these workouts that require two to work:

1.     Resistance bands

Using resistance bands with a partner provides two distinct benefits. The first is that you have more places to anchor it, and the second is that force can be applied in opposition to yours.

a.      Tricep extensions – Face your partner, right foot in front of the left, holding one end of an exercise band in your right hand while your partner holds the other in their left. Bend forward at your hips with your knees slightly bent, and contract your abs. Slowly straighten your arm to pull back the band, then return to start. Complete 12 reps, then switch arms and repeat.

b.     Band jumps – Stand in front of your partner, facing opposite directions. Loop the resistance band around your waist, with your partner holding one end in each hand, knees slightly bent, and hips slightly back for stability. Step forward until there’s light tension in the band. Jump forward as far as possible by bending your knees, hips back and core tight, exploding up and forward. Step back and repeat for 8 to 12 reps, then switch roles.

2.     Medicine Ball
Adding a medicine ball allows partners to pass and toss the ball back and forth, improving coordination and increasing muscle power more than can easily be done alone.

a.      Orbit twist & pass – Stand back to back with your partner. Holding the medicine ball in both hands, turn to your right while your partner turns left, and pass them the ball over your right shoulder. Then, turn to the opposite side and pass the ball back again, this time low by your left knee. Repeat for 10-15 reps, then switch directions, this time turning left first.

b.     Forward-backward lunges – Stand facing each other about one foot apart. Hold the medicine ball at chest height and step forward with your right foot. Simultaneously your partner will step backward with their left foot. Both of you will sink into a lunge by bending the front and back knees 90 degrees, keeping knees over ankles, back straight, and core tight. At the bottom of the lunge, pass the medicine ball to your partner before pushing off and returning to your starting positions. Now, switch feet and do it in reverse. Repeat for 8 to 12 reps, then change sides.

3.     Bodyweight
Partnering up means that not only do you have your own bodyweight to provide resistance, you have someone else’s to leverage as well.

a.      Wheelbarrow push-up squats – While your partner is in a high plank position, stand at their feet. Slowly take one of their feet in each hand until they’re in a “wheelbarrow” position. Simultaneously, while your partner bends at the elbows into a push-up, you lower into a squat with your back straight, core tight, and knees in line with ankles. As they pushes up to return to start position, you stands. Repeat for 8 to 12 reps, then switch roles.

b.     Roundhouse – Stand facing each other, 2 to 3 feet apart, with feet wider than shoulder-width apart and hands in fists next to chin. Bring your right foot in toward your left, then kicks right leg up and out while your partner squats low to duck under it. Switch roles as they kick their right leg up and over your low squat. Do 50 kicks total, switching legs halfway through.

Obviously, these are just a few of the things you can do with a partner that you can’t do by yourself. Try incorporating claps into solo moves, take turns doing things, or even start a friendly competition over who can go longer or do more. And the best part is you’ll probably be having more fun while you do it.

Valentine’s Dates for Fit Couples

They say that the couple that trains together, stays together. So why not save the cheat day and spend Valentine’s day bonding with your significant other over a shared workout? There’s a pretty good chance that your shared passion for fitness is a big part of why you’re together in the first place. This year, ditch the chocolate and wine and try one of these active Valentine’s Dates instead:

1.     Go for a run – Whether it’s on the road or on side-by-side treadmills, matching pace is great way to feel connected while you both get in some quality cardio.

2.     Share a class – Couple up for partners yoga, or if that’s not your thing, explore a new class together for the first time. Choose something challenging to let you bond through shared adversity.

3.     Team up for a game – Sports provide the perfect framework for a little playful competition. Try going love-love in a game of tennis or get one-on-one with a game of basketball, just don’t forget whose side you’ll want to be on later.

4.     Give each other a spot – Show that you can put up, with each other. Giving each other a spot while you lift let’s to work together, connect through physical contact, and be supportive both literally and figuratively.

5.     Get your groove on – Something fast paced like salsa dancing can get you hot at the same time it makes your muscles burn. Not only will moving your bodies together in rhythm feel sexy, it’s also a great aerobic workout.

6.     Take a hike – No seriously, get out of town and, weather permitting, out into the wilderness. Hiking, mountain biking or even rock climbing are great partner activities that work a wide variety of muscles and require you to work together on pathfinding and providing support.

7.     Throw down – Be a lover and a fighter with some time together in the ring. Boxing and kickboxing both give you an intense workout and can burn up to 1,000 calories* in a single session.

8.     Be cutting edge – Strap on a pair of ice skates and take some spins around the rink. You may be cold on the outside, but by the time you’re done you’ll be all warm and tingly on the inside.

Whatever you decide to do, just do it together. It’s all just about getting your hearts pumping right?

Quit the jiggle: 10 days to tighter thighs

Getting rid of a little thigh jiggle isn’t so easy, especially the inner thighs, which are an especially-hard-to-target problem area. But with the summer sun beating down and everybody in shorts and bathing suits, there’s never been a better time. Here’s our simple plan for getting one step closer to thinner thighs in the next 10 days.

1. Seated Bent Knee – 

Sitting with your hands pressed on the floor besides your hips, raise your knees in towards your body. Keep your knees touching and your toes pointed. Then, leaning slightly forward and contracting your abdominals, open your knees out to the sides, trailing your toes on the floor, and then bring your knees back together until they touch. That’s one rep. Repeat this exercise 20 times.

2. Wide Plie Squat –

Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and toes turned out. Holding your hands behind your head, tuck your pelvis, and slowly squat down until your knees are bent at ninety degrees (about a 4 second count). Then slowly lift yourself back up until your legs are straight again. Do this exercise for one minute.

3. Slimming Skaters – 

Start with feet together, toes forward, arms by your sides, keeping your head and neck straight ahead. Start by taking a wide ‘skate’ step with your right foot to the right side, then drag your left foot toward it, reaching your left arm forward while bringing your right elbow back, as if you were skating. Then, quickly change directions and repeat the movement on the opposite side. Repeat as many times as you can, alternating from left to right, for a total of one minute.

4. Thigh Raise – 

Lying face down, raise your legs from the waist, until your feet are a few inches off the ground. Bend your knees slightly, keeping them off the ground, and hold that position for five ­seconds. Slowly unbend your knees and, slowly lower your straight legs to the ground, then repeat, increasing the duration each time until you work up to15 seconds.

5. Frog Extensions –

Lie on your back with your arms relaxed on the ground beside you. Slowly raise your knees up towards your chest, contracting your abs. Turn your knees out to the sides and place your heels together. Now, extend your legs at a 45-degree angle. With both legs extended and turned outward, squeeze your knees together. Return to your starting position, maintaining the same 45-degree line on the way back. Repeat this movement 15 times.

6. Bottom Leg Lift –

Sit on the floor, with your left leg straight out and your right leg bent and crossed over your left. Now lift up your left (bottom) leg so that your foot is at least 6in off the ground. Hold for ten seconds, then slowly lower your leg. Repeat on the other side.

Combine these exercises with a good diet and a regular workout regimen of cardio and strength training, and you’ll be on your way in no time.

The REAL skinny on protein

It seems like these days protein is everywhere: protein shakes, protein bars, protein-enriched foods. But most of us are left scratching our heads as to how much we need and why. The why is actually pretty easy — protein protects our bodies against lean muscle loss. Oddly enough, the human body processes protein in your muscles for energy long before it starts breaking down the fat that you’re trying so hard to lose. Now as to how much, we’ve put together our best advice on the right way to incorporate protein into your workout:

1.  By the numbers. Your first step to incorporating protein is figuring out what your daily protein consumption should be. How much protein you need is based on how much you weigh and how active you are.

Step 1: Divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 to figure out your weight in kilograms
Step 2: For rest days, multiply your weight in kilograms X 0.8 to get the amount (in grams) of protein you should be eating to maintain muscle mass. On cardio days, you’ll multiply by 1.2 and on strength training days you can multiply by 1.6

2.  The old-fashioned way. Before you start supplementing your protein intake, look at the foods that you’re already eating. For most people, their daily protein requirements are more than met by a healthy, well-balanced diet.

3. Time to supplement. If your protein needs (based on the math) are greater than what you’re eating, protein supplements might be the easiest way to get your added nutrition. Bars, pills or shakes, what matters most is the type and amount of protein you’re getting, not the form it comes in.

4.  Know your protein. Your best bet for supplementing is to consume “complete” proteins like whey, casein and soy. Whey and casein come from milk and are easily absorbed by the body. Soy proteins contain all 9 essential amino acids and are a great alternative for people vegans and people who don’t tolerate milk.

5.  Spread it out. To maximize your body’s ability to digest, absorb and use protein, distributing it evenly throughout your meals and snacks. Just take your daily total and divide it by the number of meals and snacks you eat daily.

6.  After a workout. Have a high-protein snack in the first half-hour to hour after exercise. This is the best way to speed important nutrients back to sensitive muscles so they can repair and grow.

7. Pairing with carbs. Especially after cardio, protein may not be enough to help you recover. The protein itself will help repair the muscle, you’ll need carbs to replenish the energy that your body stores there.

Before we go, I just want to say one more time that as important as protein is, you shouldn’t fall for the hype. All of the new protein products on the market are just different and sometimes tastier or more convenient ways of getting the same kind of natural nutrition available in food. So as long as you’re getting the protein your body needs to sustain it, no matter what the source, you’ll be good to go.

What’s all the flap about: How to get sculpted arms fast

Tight, toned arms are the key to looking good in…well…anything in the summertime. And the hardest part to hit is that trouble area right in the back of the arms. If you plan to ditch the jiggle, you’re going to need exercises that specifically target your biceps, triceps and delts. These simple exercises are the quickest way to great looking arms you’ll be excited to show off:

1. Triceps Dip –

Think of this as a reverse push up. Sit down on the floor with your feet and legs together, feet flat, and knees bent. Place your hands shoulder distance apart, a foot behind your butt, fingers forward. Lift yourself off the ground by straightening your arms. Then, bend your arms and lower your butt as close to the ground as you can without actually touching it. Start off with 2 sets of 10 reps, and work your way up to 20 reps per set.

2. Triangle Push Up –

Like a standard pushup, the triangle pushup can be performed on your knees or toes. But, rather than aligning your arms beneath your shoulders, use your fingers to form a triangle directly under your chest. Focus on keeping your core stable and your body straight as you lower yourself to the ground and back to the starting position. Repeat for 10 reps.

3. Shadowboxing With Weights – 

Using weights (we recommend 2-3 lbs), stand with your feet hip-width apart. Slowly raise your left fist as high as you can in an uppercut motion.  Then, punch with your right arm while lowering your left. Repeat this motion for 60 seconds, gradually increasing speed.

4. 90-Degree Tricep Extensions – 

For this exercise, grab a pair of 1-2 lb weights, and lie on your back with your knees bent.  Raise your arms straight above your chest, with your elbows slightly bent (don’t lock them). Now, slowly bend your elbows into a 90-degree angle, until the weights touch the floor next to your head. Lift back up. Repeat this 10-15 times.

5. Triceps Kickback –

This is a tough one. Grab a pair of 1-2 lb weights and lean forward from your hips, until your body is at a 45-degree angle. Make sure your back is straight, and your feet are shoulder-width apart. Raise your elbows back so that the weights hang at about chest level. Keep your elbows close to your body, extend your arms out behind you, until they are straight. Return back to the starting position to complete the rep. Repeat for 60 seconds.

Dedicate just 20-30 minutes each day to doing these exercises, and your upper body as a whole will become stronger and your arms more defined. Pair them with 30 minutes of cardio and a good diet, you should start to notice results in as little as a few weeks.

Playing it cool: 8 ways to stay hydrated

People spend a lot of time talking about eating the right foods to stay fit and fuel your workout. What they often forget to mention is that water is a nutrient, too. And water actually can have a much bigger and more immediate impact on your workout and overall level of fitness than anything you could ever eat. Lean body mass contains 70-75% water, while fat only contains 10-40% water, so the more fit you are the more important staying properly hydrated becomes.

Of course, during the summer the risk of dehydration is even bigger, so here’s our run-down on the best ways to hydrate in the summer heat:

1.  Start out right. Make sure you’re well-hydrated before you ever start to exercise. Drink plenty of fluids the day before and within the hour before, during and after your workout.

2.  Watch your fluids. Check the color of your pee; before a workout it should be light yellow. By the time you start feeling thirsty, you’ve already lost about 1% of your body water and are officially dehydrated. It may not sound like much, but at only 2% water loss, you can already experience serious fatigue and cardiovascular impairment.

3. Water works. For workouts of an hour or less, water should be enough to hydrate you. Any longer than that, or if your workout is especially high intensity, you should consider a sports drink or diluted juices instead. The carbohydrates will give your body energy to burn and the electrolytes will aid fluid absorption.

4.  Count on electrolytes. Electrolytes like sodium and potassium help your body to hold onto water, absorbing more fluid into your blood stream and keeping you hydrated longer. They can also help replace sodium lost through sweat, and low blood sodium can cause huge problems all on its own.

6.  Cut out caffeine. Caffeine itself is a mild diuretic and is somewhat counterproductive as you try to hydrate. More importantly, caffeinated soda and energy drinks tend to be very high in sugar which can slow down the rate at which your body absorbs fluids.

7.  By the numbers. Water loss varies based on heat, humidity and the intensity and duration of your workout. But as a rule, you should try to consumer 12-16 oz. of water in the half hour before a workout, and during your workout, you should drink 4-8 oz. every 15 minutes or so.

8.  When it’s said and done. The goal after a workout is to bring your body back into balance. Believe it or not, chocolate milk might actually be your best bet. It delivers fluid to rehydrate, carbohydrates to replace energy, and protein to help rebuild muscle. Plus it tastes great and makes you feel like a little kid again.

Don’t forget, you should also get some of your hydration from the food you eat, too. Fruits and vegetables can be up to 90% water, so make sure you get plenty. And now that you know how to stay properly hydrated, go ahead, get out there and get moving!

There’s still time to get toned for summer!

The official start of summer is less than two weeks away, and the season is already heating up. But don’t worry, turns out that’s plenty of time to get some last-minute work in. Whether you’re looking to drop one last pound, or you’ve been putting off your workout altogether, here are some fantastic ways to quickly make big impact on your body.

1.  Consistency is key. If you’re serious about making a change in only two weeks, you’re going to have to workout every day. We recommend making a plan and writing it down, then post reminders everywhere so you’ll be sure to stick with it.

2. Mix it up. No one exercise is going to create the kind of results you’re looking for. Set aside at least 45 minutes a day for your workout, and alternate days between cardio and strength training to maximize your body’s ability to burn calories.

3.  Do the math. Choose compound exercises that work multiple muscle groups at the same time. The good news is that you’ll need fewer exercises to take care of your whole body.

Here are four of our favorite compound exercises:

  • Squat Jumps – shoulders, arms, butt, and legs

Standing with feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides, swing your right leg back and lower yourself until both knees are bent 90 degrees. Now, stand back up, raising your right knee all the way back up to hip height, simultaneously swinging your left arm up to your head with a little hop. Repeat 10 times and then switch.

  • Mountain Climbers – shoulders, chest, abs, and obliques

From push-up position, and feet together, lift your right foot off the floor and pull your right knee as close to your chest as possible. Returning to the starting position, immediately repeat the movement with your left leg, keeping your lower-back posture constant as you raise your knees. Do this 10 times with each leg.

  • Bridge Marches – abs, obliques, butt, and hamstrings

Lay face up with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hands by your side. Raise your hips to form a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Lift one knee to your chest and then lower it back to the floor. Alternate legs, keeping your hips high the entire time, until you’ve done 12 reps with each leg.

  • Plank Shoulder Taps – shoulders, abs, obliques, hips, and legs

Starting in push-up position, raise one hand to touch your opposite shoulder and return to the start position. Repeat it 12 times and then switch sides.

For cardio, try to keep things fresh by alternating running with boxing (hint, hint!), spinning or another aerobic activity that will get your heart-rate up. Try adding even a small dumbbell, say 5 lbs, to any of these activities to really supercharge your results. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

Get Fit with Friends

Making an effort to exercise regularly and make healthier choices can be tough, especially if you don’t have like-minded friends. That’s why pairing up with a workout buddy who has similar goals can make a huge difference in getting results. These benefits also extend to the experience you get from attending group fitness classes like those at TITLE Boxing Club. Not sure why you should to find a friend to work out with? The reasons are endless!

1.  They help you do more. Quite literally, having a friend by your side will help you do things like crunches with a medicine ball and so much more.

2.  It’s just plain fun. Exercising in a group adds a sense of play to your workout. And the more fun it is, the more you’ll look forward to it, which will help you stick to it for the long-term. It’s also an awesome way to meet new people!

3.  The camaraderie and support are priceless. Nothing will motivate you to meet your goals more than when your buddy compliments you on your new figure. You’ll see how good it feels when you start inspiring others.

4.  They make it easier to try new things. Strength in numbers is a real thing. When you have a friend to join you on your quest to check out a new class, try out a new piece of exercise equipment, or just start weight training, it’s much less intimidating.

5.  Competition will challenge you to perform better. Some healthy, friendly competition will do amazing things for your workout! People tend to perform better when teamed up with an exercise partner who is fitter than them.

6.  Committing will be easier. The truth is, it’s a lot harder to bail on a workout when you know you’ll be disappointing your friend. Plus, they’ll probably never let you hear the end of it when you see them again.

7.  It’s an easy way to get you on track. Working out with others, whether it’s your friends or in a group class, requires planning schedules in advance. This makes it more likely that you’ll follow through with it, so try it if motivation is what you need.

Got any idea who your new workout buddy might be? Don’t be afraid to ask them to join you!